Zero Percent Chance

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I used to fantasize about having the perfect vacation or an impeccable wardrobe. Or maybe, I would write the next Harry Potter series. All things that were possible. No matter how small the chance of it happening.

Lately, I’m sad to report, my fantasies have one common theme in that they will never come true no matter what I do. I can’t work towards it. I can’t manifest it. I can’t use a wish or a magic bean on it. There is a zero percent chance. Because what I fantasize about is my mom being alive.

Sometimes it is around what it would be like to get a phone call from her. To hear utterly infectious laughter. Of her asking me what’s new. Mundane questions around how the job is going or what Roy is up to. Or even darker still, I imagine what it would be like to call her and tell her she is expecting her first grandchild. To start planning her trip out to stay with us. Putting a mental list of foods I would want her to make me when I saw her. To stand in the kitchen with her and actually commit her delicious recipes to memory. I try to reconstruct the softness of her hands or the concentration she would put into putting on her lipstick. And sometimes, just sometimes, I will bury my face in the sweater I took from her closet just to imagine her warm embrace.

But unlike happy, dreamlike fantasies, I am living in a nightmare that will never end where I suddenly am the girl with no mother. There are tears and the loss of my breath. My body twists and lurches into the fetal position without my brain telling it to. The grotesque and gapping hole that I’ve tried in vain to stitch back together completely tears apart and explodes at the seams. Not to say that anything has been repaired or that I am even close to whole. No, I will never be whole again. The day my mom died, is the day I forever lost a piece of who I am. That’s what happens when you love someone so intensely, so unconditionally. I try to embrace the grief for what it is. A weird, messed up badge of honor for how much I love her. And I tell myself things like, if I didn’t love her this much, it wouldn’t hurt like this.

As I write this, you can imagine, the tears are steadily falling down my face. It feels destructive and cathartic at the same time. Sometimes I try to mask my grief with busy hands and endless to-do lists. Only to have the grief find me again in the quiet stillness. It feels odd meeting it head on. It hasn’t been that long since she’s been gone, but the grief has changed. I remember the time where it was all that I was. I sought out others who had experienced this level of grief, of losing a parent, a mother. I poured over their stories. Whether it was an essay or a few short lines written as an Instagram caption, it felt reassuring to me that after weeks, months and even years, that these people were still broken. Not because I wanted them to hurt, but it gave me a sense of relief that it was okay to miss her with such a fierce intensity.

So, this is dedicated to those people that shared their stories that I so hungrily consumed. In some weird and possible unintended way, you are part of my healing. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you are from, we have something in common for always. This is also dedicated to those who have just recently lost someone. Of course, I would not wish this on anyone, but it’s the truth of the world. It is hard. You might think that you will never smile or laugh again. That the thought of such lightness makes you feel sick with guilt. But, it will be less hard. No, you will never be better. But it will be less hard.

And another one

hoodriver

We are at the close of another year. It seems like no matter what I do, time just seems to go by faster and faster as I get older. I finally get what every adult was trying to tell me when I was a kid. Where’s the pause button?

I started off the beginning of the year with the same resolution that almost everyone else tries to adopt, a blank slate. Let’s just face it, this is unrealistic. I think the most important lesson I learned this past year is that life is really messy, but the shit you go through makes you who you are. Sometimes, it is just that, shit. It’s mind boggling, enraging and downright devastating. But we are resilient.

We pick up whatever pieces we can. We mend the broken seams. And then we grow. It is super easy to look back at the nice, rose colored memories and think of those things as our only defining moments. All the while, the lumps in our rugs are mountainous with the flaws we sweep under it. But it’s all of it, the good and the bad, that collectively make up our lives.

Let me predict a couple of things for 2018. There will be successes. There will be failures. The only new year’s resolution I am making is this: be comfortable and embrace who I am, lumps and all.

Oh, and stop eating so much candy.

Friday Favorites

“Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” (1)

Boy Brow / / Stella: I’ve always struggled with unruly brows. When I was a kid, I had thick caterpillar eyebrows that people made fun of me about. Then, as we all do, I discovered tweezers. Luckily, I never plucked the shit out of them to the point of no return. But it wasn’t until recently I understood how well maintained eyebrows can frame your face. I had read so many raving reviews about Glossier Boy Brow and finally purchased it. I have never used a brow gel but this stuff is foolproof. It gives you the ability to tame those brows for a sleek, put together look. Or, you can use it and follow the growth of the hairs to perfect that Boy Brow.

Autocamp / / Kendall: As I currently look out my window Northern California is in the process of receiving another 4 feet of snow. I am not ready for ski season to come to an end, but I have begun lusting for summer adventures. We just booked a spot at this autocamp for my birthday weekend with a group of friends and I am beyond excited. I peruse their galleries daily. Wine and redwoods and airstreams Oh My!

Lip and Cheek Stain / / Allie: Growing up, my Mom was equally obsessed with vibrant lipstick as she was with drinking coffee. My earliest memories include scattered coffee mugs – on the counter, in the bathroom, on night stands – each with a unique pop of bright pink on the rim. Today, I find the memory endearing. When I was younger, it made me hate lipstick and the residue it left on everything it touched. I’ve struggled to find a lip product that gave me both a natural look and didn’t leave its mark. Thanks to Emma Watson’s beauty feature in Into The Gloss, I found Lip and Cheek Stain from The Body Shop. It gives me a rosy tint that seriously lasts all day AND keeps my coffee cups free of lip marks.

10 x 10

10x10 (1)I have recently found myself to be quite intrigued by the concept of minimalist living (welcome to the wave Kendall!). After watching a documentary on minimalism the first thing that came to mind was my closet… the place where I often visit and think “friend you have become quite dreary over the years.”

What I have come to realize is that moving to an outdoor destination has resulted in falling out of touch with my personal style. While I am an avid fan of the loungewear look, it has become a constant in my every day life. Confession of a girl gone rustic: I miss my fashion forward wardrobe.

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Thank you, President Obama

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“Yes We Can. Yes We Did. Yes We Can.” – President Barack Obama

This past weekend, I began an attempt to organize my office. I began recycling junk mail and creating a pile of papers I wanted to keep. But like all my other “attempts” tend to go, I got distracted when I found one of my old journals in the desk drawer.

I gladly picked it up and began to skim the pages. A bright red sticker with the words “I Voted” jumped out at me. There was a piece of blue construction paper glued onto the page with a folded up newspaper article tucked underneath. I slid out the article before I began reading the words I had written in 2008.  (more…)

Happy 30th to Our Stella Bella

It’s because of our Stella Bella’s passion for travel and friendship that the three of us have been able to share adventures, laughs, meals and memories together over the last two years. She’s constantly inspiring us to be the best versions of ourselves and is always the first to start planning our next adventure together.

  Today, on her 30th birthday, we cheers to everything Stella. From her intelligence to her sassy side, her love of food to her Harry Potter obsession, we wouldn’t be who we are without her gift of friendship.

Happy Birthday, dear friend. You are the spine that holds our book of friendship together.

-AA & KG

*S E A T T L E*

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*V A N C O U V E R*

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*P A R I S*

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*M I N N E A P O L I S*

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*C O S T A   R I C A*

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*S A N   F R A N C I S C O*

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*L O S  A N G E L E S*

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